Derry Martin | Constant Spring Road disaster
I read with interest Carolyn Cooper's column of Sunday, December 9, 2018, titled 'Back on the highway of Holness', and all I could do is shake my head. I am not a permanent resident of Beverly Hills. I grew up in the area, and have stayed down the hill at Lombard Close.
I will answer the following question she raised in her article: "How can the three MPs living in Beverly Hills drive up and down 'Prosperity Highway', as I call it, every single day, without any concern for pedestrians?"
Dem nah walk up and down Prosperity Highway. Dem ah drive. Suh why yuh expect dem fi care?
I was in Jamaica for our Merl Grove reunion/homecoming last month, and found the entire road dug up from Manor Park past Merl Grove. They don't care. If our prime minister or any of the three people my classmate told me to write to express my feelings had to drive in that mess to and from work, I want to believe they would have worked on Constant Spring Road in phases.
I could not get taxi to carry me up to where I was staying in Stony Hill and I could not get taxi to bring me down. What was already a horrible morning commute was a nightmare. After a week of waiting anywhere from one to three hours to either leave home or get picked up to return home, I moved into the Marriott in New Kingston. I understand there are two other main arteries under construction creating the same havoc for a commute.
On every trip up or down Constant Spring Road, I asked myself: "Which very smart person in transportation management would dig up a major thoroughfare with projection of months for its completion?"
Most days I travelled on that road, I did not see a soul working. Maybe it was my luck they were at lunch when I was going or coming. A taxi man who accommodated my rant on a trip told me it was Chinese money with a deadline for it to use or lose. I am assuming the taxi man was clueless and was talking rubbish. Or was he?
My Jamaican people, I may live abroad, but rest assured, I am not of 'farin' mind. I am one of those stupid, loyal Jamaicans who continue to support this country in all kinds of ways. I am one of those Jamaicans who have come home every year since about 1974. I migrated in 1969.
I am one of those Jamaicans who is so fed up and frustrated with what is going on in Jamaica. I wish I could take the advice of many and just stop returning. I am one of those Jamaicans whose classmates came home last month to celebrate a stolen graduation and they were robbed again, this time in New Kingston, but still want to return home. In spite of all the killings of returnees, I come home.
Jamaican people, you need to rise up and take back your country. We in the diaspora can only send money, but if change is going to come, Ms Cooper has to keep writing and Jamaicans living back home need to start demanding that all the politicians do right for all the people.
- Derry Martin is a Jamaican expatriate. Email feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.